Colonie senior Amber Elk receives Horatio Alger National Scholarship; Travels to DC to learn about etiquette

girl stands in front of supreme court building it says equal justice under law on the building.
Amber Elk poses for a photo at the front entrance of the U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C.

Colonie Central High School senior Amber Elk was one of 105 recipients across the U.S. selected to receive the prestigious Horatio Alger National Scholarship.  This scholarship provides aid to high school students who have exhibited determination, integrity, and perseverance in overcoming adversity.

The Horatio Alger association has been providing scholarships for more than 75 years. These scholarships are funded by former Horatio Alger awardees who have also faced challenges in life but have overcome them becoming very successful business and civic leaders.

Elk applied for this scholarship during the spring of her junior year after staff in the counseling center informed her of the opportunity.  

female poses for a photo on a balcony. There is a bunch of people in the crowd behind her facing a presentation screen.
Amber Elk poses for a D.C. at awards ceremony.

“I never believed that I would be selected,” Elk said.  “Thousands of applications are submitted for consideration annually.”

A few months later after she applied, Elk learned that she had been selected. “I was thrilled,” she added. In order to receive the scholarship, she had to participate in monthly zoom calls and college preparation classes.

As part of the scholarship process, Elk received an all expenses paid trip to Washington, D.C. to gain insight from various successful individuals and celebrate her accomplishment.  She spent a long weekend in D.C. with other recipients consisting of numerous breakfasts, luncheons, and conversations with individuals such as Bill Gates, Louis Holtz from Notre Dame, Raj Subramaniam (CEO of FedEx), Brian Lamb (JPMorgan and Chase), and Justice Clarence Thomas.

“The experience was incredible,” said Elk. “In addition to having the opportunity to meet some of these individuals, we learned about formal etiquette and received information on college and life preparedness”

Elk is the first recipient to come from Colonie High School to receive the award.  Not only is this accomplishment one that will be remembered but the knowledge and advice gained will be used by Elk for many years to come.  If she chooses, she has the opportunity to become a Alumni member in the Horatio Alger Association and would be able to work with future recipients to provide advice and mentor them.

More information about the scholarship can be found here:

About Horatio Alger, Jr

Horatio Alger, Jr., was a prolific author in the 19th and early 20th centuries whose books inspired its readers to work hard and persevere through adversity. Alger’s books – 128 in all – recount how a “can-do spirit” and individual initiative can allow anyone to achieve their dreams, regardless of circumstances.